Pope Francis Meets Benedict, Asks for His Prayers During WYD

07/19/2013 Comments (6)

Pope Francis visited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this afternoon to ask the former Pontiff to “spiritually accompany him in prayer” during his visit to Brazil for World Youth Day next week.

The Vatican said the Holy Father called in on the Pope Emeritus shortly after 4pm and brought with him a booklet covering the program of the trip so that Benedict can participate spiritually and follow the transmission of the events.

Benedict XVI, who was originaly scheduled to go to Rio until he announced his retirement in February, "assured him of his prayers, recalling the intense and wonderful experiences of his past world meetings with young people in Cologne, Sydney and Madrid.” The Vatican...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, pope francis, world youth day

Concerns Rising Over Slow Appointments of Bishops

07/13/2013 Comments (83)

Cardinal Marc Ouellet (left), prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, at a press conference July 5th marking the release of Pope Francis' first encyclical, Lumen Fidei.

– EP

A crisis of sorts is developing in the appointment of Catholic bishops worldwide as a backlog of 187 sees (not including China) remain vacant.

According to figures on Catholic-Hierarchy.org, eight U.S. dioceses are without a bishop, plus two U.S. eparchies (dioceses of Eastern rite churches).

These include the diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut which hasn’t had a bishop since March 2012 when Mons. William Lori was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore.

Others include Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Fort Worth, Texas; Rochester, NY; and Marquette, Michigan, vacated by Mons. Alexander Sample in January on his appointment as Archbishop of Portland, Oregon.

Half of Scotland’s ordinaries – four...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, bishops, cardinal ouellet, holy see, pope francis, vatican

Blessed John Paul II to be Canonized, Vatican Confirms

07/05/2013 Comments (50)

Blessed John Paul II

The Vatican has today confirmed that Blessed Pope John Paul II will be canonized, although a date has not yet been set for the ceremony.

Reading from a statement, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters this afternoon that Pope Francis had approved a decree on a miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession. He also said the Holy Father had approved a “favourable vote”, taken by a commission of cardinals and bishops, “on the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII.”

The commission has decided to “convoke a consistory” so that both canonizations can take place at the same time, but it's not clear yet when as Pope Francis wants to hear the opinions of cardinals first....READ MORE

Filed under canonization, john paul ii, john xxiii

Blessed John Paul II to be Canonized in December?

07/02/2013 Comments (19)

Italian media is reporting that cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a second alleged miracle through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, possibly leading to the late Pontiff's canonization by the end of this year.

Pope Francis must still give the final signature, but reports say that the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation meeting this morning in a plenary meeting were in favour of a canonisation ceremony taking place in December, after the end of the Year of Faith. October, which has often been a popular time for beatifications and canonizations, is thought to be too soon to arrange logistics. 

A board of theologians approved...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, john paul ii, john xxiii, saints, vatican

Pope Francis's Morning Homilies May 27th-June 1st

06/02/2013 Comments (1)

In his early morning homilies in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence this past week, Pope Francis warned of riches that can distance us from Christ, stressed the importance of having joyful hearts filled with the Holy Spirit, and cautioned against a triumphalist Church.

On Monday, the Holy Father said in order to follow Jesus, we must rid ourselves of a culture based on economic wellbeing and of our attraction to the provisional.

He invited the faithful to examine their consciences and take stock of riches that prevent us from drawing near to Jesus. He said a culture of economic wellbeing acts like “an anaesthetic”, making one lack courage, and become lazy and selfish. Meanwhile, he...READ MORE

Filed under homilies, pope francis

Pope Francis, the Mafia, and Pro-Abortion Politicians

05/27/2013 Comments (58)

Pope Francis giving his Angelus address May 26, 2013 in St. Peter's Square. "My thoughts are with the suffering of women, men and also children who are exploited by the many mafias who make them slaves, through prostitution, through many social pressures," he said. "They cannot do this, they cannot make our brothers slaves, we must pray to the Lord to make these mafiosi convert to God."


Pope Francis took the Mafia to task at the weekend, calling on them to repent, convert and cease exploiting and enslaving people.

He was speaking in reference to the beatification of Don Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi on Saturday, a Sicilian priest gunned down by the Mafia in 1993 for practising the faith in standing up to organised crime.

In May 1993, Blessed John Paul II angrily called on Mafiosi to "repent, because one day you will face the judgment of God".

But such comments drew an interesting response from a reader, who wrote: “Why do we say this to the Mafia but would not dream of saying this, and much more, to the Catholic politicians whose power is used to kill unborn babies in...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, mafia, obama, politicians, pope francis

Round-up of Pope's Early Morning Homilies This Week

05/25/2013 Comments (2)

– EP

Among the themes covered in his early morning homilies this week, Pope Francis preached about the importance of praying courageously, of doing good to all, and how to guard against losing the spiritual salt of one’s faith.

On Monday, he underlined the importance of praying with courage, faith and from the heart. Miracles occur even today, he said, but in order to obtain them, they require “strong prayer” that “wrestles with God” and does not end with a one-time “courtesy” supplication.

He was reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus heals a boy with an evil spirit, and tells the disciples that strong prayer is necessary (interestingly, Pope Francis had appeared to do the...READ MORE

Filed under homilies, pope francis

Pope Francis Sends Message of Condolence to Oklahoma

05/21/2013 Comments (2)

The Vatican released the following message this evening following the massive tornado that struck Oklahoma yeserday.

Message sent through the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington to the Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City

(21 May 2013)

The Holy Father has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the devastating tornado which has struck Oklahoma and he asks you convey to the entire community the assurance of his solidarity and closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the departed, comfort to the afflicted, and strength and hope to the...READ MORE

Filed under oklahoma, pope francis, tornado

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin